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Sunday, April 8, 2018

10 Breathtaking Images of Galaxies Spread Across the Space: Your Astral Thirst Quenched for the Weekends


Photograph Source: Daily Mail

The nearest galaxy to the Milky Way, Andromeda (also known as Messier) has been named after the mythological character Princess Andromeda. The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in ~4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy or a large disc galaxy. With an apparent magnitude of 3.4, the Andromeda Galaxy is among the brightest of the Messier objects - making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights, even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution.



Photograph Source: Daily Mail

The Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51a - and its companion are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may be seen with binoculars.
A black hole, surrounded by a ring of dust, is thought to exist at the heart of the spiral. The dust ring stands almost perpendicular to the relatively flat spiral nebula. A secondary ring crosses the primary ring on a different axis, a phenomenon that is contrary to expectations. A pair of ionization cones extend from the axis of the main dust ring.


Photograph Source: Daily Mail

The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16 or M16, and as NGC 6611, and also known as the Star Queen Nebula and The Spire) is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens.
 Both the "Eagle" and the "Star Queen" refer to visual impressions of the dark silhouette near the center of the nebula, an area made famous as the "Pillars of Creation" photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. The nebula contains several active star-forming gas and dust regions, including the Pillars of Creation.


Photograph Source: Popular Science 

Arp 273 is a pair of interacting galaxies, lying 300 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It was first described in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp in 1966. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, is about five times more massive than the smaller galaxy.It has a disc that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. The smaller galaxy shows distinct signs of active star formation at its nucleus, and "it is thought that the smaller galaxy has actually passed through the larger one."


Photograph Source: Popular Science 

This striking NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures the galaxy UGC 477, located just over 110 million light-years away in the constellation of Pisces (The Fish).

UGC 477 is a low surface brightness (LSB) galaxy. First proposed in 1976 by Mike Disney, the existence of LSB galaxies was confirmed only in 1986 with the discovery of Malin 1. LSB galaxies like UGC 477 are more diffusely distributed than galaxies such as Andromeda and the Milky Way. With surface brightnesses up to 250 times fainter than the night sky, these galaxies can be incredibly difficult to detect.

Most of the matter present in LSB galaxies is in the form of hydrogen gas, rather than stars. Unlike the bulges of normal spiral galaxies, the centers of LSB galaxies do not contain large numbers of stars. Astronomers suspect that this is because LSB galaxies are mainly found in regions devoid of other galaxies, and have therefore experienced fewer galactic interactions and mergers capable of triggering high rates of star formation.

LSB galaxies such as UGC 477 instead appear to be dominated by dark matter, making them excellent objects to study to further our understanding of this elusive substance. However, due to an underrepresentation in galactic surveys — caused by their characteristic low brightness — their importance has only been realized relatively recently.

Text credit: European Space Agency
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt




A long Chandra exposure of M87 has revealed a shock wave in high-energy X-rays as well as evidence for a series of outbursts from the central supermassive black hole. The image shows a series of loops and bubbles in the hot, X-ray emitting gas. These are relics of small outbursts from close to the black hole. Other remarkable features are seen in M87 for the first time including narrow filaments of X-ray emission, which may be due to hot gas trapped to magnetic fields. One of these filaments is over 100,000 light years long, and extends below and to the right of the center of M87 in almost a straight line.

(Credit: NASA/CXC/CfA/W.Forman et al.)



Photograph Source: NASA

NGC 4622 is a face-on unbarred spiral galaxy with a very prominent ring structure located in the constellation Centaurus. The galaxy is a member of the Centaurus Cluster.

In spiral galaxies, spiral arms were thought to trail; the tips of the spiral arms winding away from the center of the galaxy in the direction of the disks orbital rotation. In NGC 4622, however, the outer arms are leading spiral arms; the tips of the spiral arms point towards the direction of disk rotation. This may be the result of a gravitational interaction between NGC 4622 and another galaxy or the result of a merger between NGC 4622 and a smaller object.


Photograph Source: NASA

The black hole at the center of the Triangulum Galaxy has a mass that is no more than 1,500 times the mass of the sun. Its spiral arms are loosely wound at an angle of 43 degrees.


Photograph Source : Wikipedia 

 The two galaxies happen to be oriented so that they appear to mark the number 10. The left-most galaxy, or the "one" in this image, is relatively undisturbed apart from a smooth ring of starlight. It appears nearly on edge to our line of sight. The right-most galaxy, resembling a zero, exhibits a clumpy, blue ring of intense star formation. The blue ring was most probably formed after the galaxy on the left passed through the galaxy on the right. Just as a pebble thrown into a pond creates an outwardly moving circular wave, a propagating density wave was generated at the point of impact and spread outward. 

As this density wave collided with material in the target galaxy that was moving inward due to the gravitational pull of the two galaxies, shocks and dense gas were produced, stimulating star formation. The dusty reddish knot at the lower left of the blue ring probably marks the location of the original nucleus of the galaxy that was hit. Arp 147 appears in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp in the 1960s and published in 1966. 

This picture was assembled from WFPC2 images taken with three separate filters. The blue, visible-light, and infrared filters are represented by the colors blue, green, and red, respectively. The galaxy pair was photographed on October 27-28, 2008. Arp 147 lies in the constellation Cetus, and it is more than 400 million light-years away from Earth.


Photograph and Information Source: NASA

To commemorate the Hubble Space Telescope's 19 years of historic, trailblazing science, the orbiting telescope has photographed a peculiar system of galaxies known as Arp 194. This interacting group contains several galaxies, along with a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas, and dust that stretches over 100,000 light-years.


The northern (upper) component of Arp 194 appears as a haphazard collection of dusty spiral arms, bright blue star-forming regions, and at least two galaxy nuclei that appear to be connected and in the early stages of merging. A third, relatively normal, spiral galaxy appears off to the right. The southern (lower) component of the galaxy group contains a single large spiral galaxy with its own blue star-forming regions.

Information Source: Wikipedia, NASA, Shutterbug,Space.com

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